Jeffrey swallowed. His new boss really was rather intimidating. He’d heard a lot about Mallory Day during the six months he’d worked in the company. He’d dismissed most of it as gossip and exaggeration – until he met her.
Miss Day was seated behind her desk right now, looking at Jeffrey much like the way the cat next door eyed a mouse before pouncing and dismembering it. He wondered why she wanted to see him. He wasn’t the best salesman in the company, to be sure, but he brought in quite a lot of business.
“I’ve been auditing the sales figures,” Mallory said. “And I’ve found some … discrepancies in your submissions.”
He swallowed. “Really?”
“As I said. You were quite clever, Jeffrey. But not as clever as you think at hiding your tracks.”
“Miss Day, I can assure you -”
“Enough. Don’t waste my time trying to deny it. I take this very personally. If you steal from the company, you steal from me.”
“I couldn’t help it,” he whined. “My ex-wife keeps demanding money, and I still have to pay the mortgage -”
She slammed her hand on the desk. “I do NOT care about your personal life. You have no excuses for your actions. Now you must pay the penalty.”
“The what?” He didn’t like her wording.
“You surely didn’t think that you’re going to get away with your behaviour?”
“Are you going to fire me?”
“Fire you? That would be too easy. Drop your trousers.”
“What the hell?”
“If I fired you, you would get another job and learn nothing from the experience. This way you’ll remember the lesson and won’t be tempted to repeat your embezzlement. Drop them. Now.”
“But -” he looked towards the door.
“Oh, they won’t hear anything. I had the office soundproofed. You think you’re the first miscreant I’ve caught?” She stood up and opened the cupboard behind her desk. As she turned round, Jeffrey saw an evil-looking thin cane in her hand. “Now bend over and drop your trousers.”
It was a lesson that Jeffrey would indeed never forget.
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